Two hundred forty-six people attended the 2017 SCJ Conference, April 7-8, hosted by Johnson University. Attendees from California, Texas, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, North Carolina, Missouri, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Nebraska, West Virginia, Virginia, Georgia, and Kentucky appreciated the excellent facilities and resources that were made available. With the conference at Johnson a third time in four years, many attendees found familiarity with the campus layout made the conference easier to enjoy.
Attendees travelled from 48 different colleges, universities, and graduate schools, with Lincoln Christian leading the way with 13, with Great Lakes (12) and Milligan (11) nipping at their heels. But Asbury Theological Seminary had 7, Emmanuel Christian Seminary had 6, Kentucky Christian University and Abilene Christian Seminary both had 4. Dallas Christian University and Nebraska Christian University both had 5 registered. However, they, along with a few others were unable to attend due to whether that grounded flights. Host Johnson University Tennesee had very active attendance from its faculty, staff, and students, with 77 registered. Attendees also came from seven different churches. Most attendees were faculty at 87, 91 were students, and 26 were ministers.
The conference theme, Communicating the Old Testament, was addresses with experience and creativity by the featured speakers: Ellen Davis, Amos Ragan Kearns Distinguished Professor of Bible and Practical Theology (Duke Divinity School) who presented “The Practical Value of Old Testament Exegesis” and “Telling the Story for this Time and Place;” Chris Heard, Associate Professor of Religion (Pepperdine University) who present “Drowning in Cuteness: How the Flood Became a Children’s Story,” and “The Lord Chooses How the Dice Fall: Using Games to Teach Old Testament;” and Jason Bembry, Professor of Old Testament (Emmanuel Christian Seminary at Milligan) who presented “The Old Testament Prophetic Tradition – Wide A-‘woke in America.” The presentation by Ellen Davis has now been published in SCJ 20.1. Chris Heard’s flood presentation is anticipated to be published in SCJ 20.2.
These lectures were complemented by more than 80 papers presented by both experienced and emerging scholars in parallel sessions and 13 study groups.
The conference highlight was the 20th Anniversary Celebration and Awards Dinner on Friday evening. This enjoyable evening included reflections from the original six editors plus awards for various articles in the 20 years of SCJ for such things as best New Testament article, article with the most footnotes, and article most likely to start a bar fight among evangelicals. More details are available at news article focused on this event.